February 18, 2023
I am sending General Covault’s fine essay out as a special edition in the hopes that those of my subscribers who have connections with movers and shakers in the Republican Party will pass along the General’s well-crafted program in preparation for an election that will almost certainly write the destiny of our Constitutional Republic.
Please share far and wide.
RNC AND CAMPAIGN ‘24
MEMO: for Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman,
Republican National Committee
The RNC needs to redefine its purpose and organize to fulfill it.
BY: Marvin L. Covault,
Lt. Gen. US Army, retired
February 15, 2023
Congratulations on being reelected to your RNC position. You have less than 21 months until the 2024 Presidential election and the first primary, in South Carolina on 3 February 2024, is less than a year away.
Let’s begin with the bottom line for the 2024 election:
· NO ONE IS IN CHARGE,
· THERE IS NO PLAN (JUST LIKE 2022 WHICH WAS TO HAVE BEEN A SLAM-DUNK),
· HOPE IS NOT A PROCESS!
The point is if you settle back into your Chairwoman position at the RNC, and proceed with business as usual the 2024 election will likely be as big a failure as was the 2022 election. In case you haven’t noticed, Biden is already campaigning, and if the past is prologue to the future, you and your organization, in all likelihood, do not yet have a plan. Beginning now, spend the next 30-60 days doing two things in support of the 2024 election:
· organize the RNC for action, and
· build an operations plan for Campaign 2024.
Are there any indications the RNC is looking to 2024?
A new entry on the RNC website entitled,
Resolutions Adopted During the 2023 Winter Meeting.
There are nine resolutions, including:
o Honoring the life of Congressman (John Doe);
o honoring the life of Dr. (Jane Doe);
o support for the U.S. food supply chain;
o opposing antisemitism;
o RNC commitment to life, etc.
A complete waste of time – resolutions going nowhere at the speed of light. What about the 2024 election? No plan. No one in charge.
ORGANIZE FOR ACTION: First Ms. McDaniel, you need to optimize your organization. Focus every person on the election every day. Streamline their work process to make them as efficient and effective as possible. Here is a list of ten topics with which to begin:
One, BUILD A CAMPAIGN PLAN:
A campaign is a series of organized actions aimed at accomplishing a stated purpose and typically focused on a path toward an identifiable end-state. Trial-and-error is a process but not very effective. You need to build a specific campaign plan for the next election. Everything that happens in the RNC in the next 21 months must be focused on one thing, call it Campaign ’24.
Two, USE FORCE MULTIPLIERS:
It would seem there are never enough people and too many tasks to perform. As you move forward leading your organization towards a slam-dunk victory in 2024, concentrate your effort around a series of force multipliers. A force multiplier is an issue, concept, procedure, or action that, when concentrated on and exploited, can provide an extraordinarily positive return in relation to the limited time and effort invested in its use. Colin Powell used to say, “A leader’s positive attitude is a force multiplier.” More examples throughout this paper.
A clear statement of intent from you is a force multiplier. Why? Because intent is the tool that links all the leadership levels and binds them together toward an identifiable end-state.
You will need help, lots of it. Effective use of a chief of staff, war council, senior advisors, a red team, brain trust, and coaches are all force multipliers.
Three, USE AFTER ACTION REVIEWS:
AAR is a professional discussion discovering what happened, what did not happen, and why. AAR is a comparison of actual output with intended outcomes. It is NOT a critique; critique means to criticize; there is time for that in private. AAR explicitly links past experiences to future actions. What did we do good? What could we have done better? How can we immediately institutionalize changes going forward? It’s all about accountability.
There should be brief, 15-20-minute AARs ongoing throughout the organization every day. Create a mindset that an event, no matter how small, is not concluded until the AAR is completed. AAR is simple, free, and can become the ultimate force multiplier for the organization from top to bottom.
Four, ESTABLISH NATIONAL LINKAGE AND ALIGNMENT: Beginning at your level, establish linkage and alignment between and among yourself and the RNC Chairpersons in every state to facilitate near-instant communications, initiatives, and dealing with a crisis. Then, demand that your subordinates at the national RNC establish the same linkage with their counterparts in every state.
Five, CREATE AGILITY:
Agility is a principle descriptor of great organizations. Agility is in one sense a leader’s mindset. An agile leader is always on the lookout for a target of opportunity and when it is identified they are quick to act on it. They are never satisfied with the status quo. An agile leader is in a constant state of taking the organization elsewhere. An agile organization is one that readily supports change; recognizes the need for change and its members are quick to suggest innovative ways to change the way the organization operates. Agility is a huge force multiplier.
Six, DELEGATE OR DIE:
Ms. McDaniel, I do not know what your leadership style is but if you demand that every decision passes through you before execution, the RNC will grind down to an ineffective, nonresponsive, behind-the-power-curve organization, and Campaign ’24 will end up looking like election 2022. The question you have to ask yourself is, do my subordinate leaders “feel” empowered to deal with increased workload, short suspenses, and potential crises situations and then back-brief me on their decisions?
Seven, USE A BRAIN TRUST:
Too often in the next 21 months you will face situations that need an immediate decision to head off a possible crisis; you need help. Select a small number of subordinates perhaps 3-5. in whom you have ultimate trust and confidence. They need to be your best and brightest who see the big picture, are discreet, and are not afraid to challenge you. Whenever you need help or someone to listen to a new idea, tell your executive assistant or the chief of staff, “Get the Brain Trust in here right now.” Remember, it is lonely at the top but that does not mean you need to be alone.
Eight, BUILD A RED TEAM:
Select a small number (3-5) of your brightest subordinates and give them an additional duty to, “become died-in-the-wool Democrat thinkers.” Rely on them frequently to tell you how they believe the Democrats will react to “X”. What is the Democrat’s next initiative? How can/should we counter a Democrat initiative? Have them sit in on high-level meetings to comment. A Red Team is a force multiplier; do not proceed without one.
Nine, PUT TOGETHER A SENIOR COUNCIL:
Ask a small number (3-5) of senior retired Republican superstars to advise, review and comment on Campaign ’24 initiatives. Newt Gingrich, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Huckabee, and William Bennett are names that come to mind.
Ten, BUILD A NEW WEBSITE:
In its current state, the RNC website is useless to support an election. For example, OUR RULES AND RESOLUTIONS, all 43 pages of it, should not be front and center; hide them somewhere at the end of the website or delete them. OUR PLATFORM section is three whole sentences. Ridiculous.
Start over with a blank page and a new concept for the website. It should serve two purposes.
First, is to become a one-stop reference warehouse for every local, state, and national Republican candidate across the nation who will use the data for building their campaign speeches and debate preparation.
Secondly, it should be a one-stop-shopping center for voters of all parties who want to be better informed about the issues. This reference library will NOT be filled with long, wordy essays. It will consist of multiple individual Fact Sheets for every policy and issue the Republicans are for and every Democrat issue and policy we are against and why. Every Fact Sheet must be filled with irrefutable and fact-checkable data. Update the site daily if necessary. Every paper should include in the first sentence, Posted (date) or Posted (date), Updated (date).
The sum total of all this IS THE PLATFORM FOR 2024.
For example, on the subject of election reform. Task every state to investigate and report the approximate number of ineligible voters on their Voter Registration Rolls (it’s millions in California).
· Do a fact sheet on the subject pointing out the millions of ballots that would therefore be mailed out with no accountability.
· Do a fact sheet with fact-checked examples from every state on the danger of voter fraud with ballot harvesting and drop boxes.
· Do a fact sheet demonstrating that voter fraud will be nearly nonexistent with voter ID cards.
From Biden on down the Democrats call voter ID “racist.” The Republican counter to that ridiculous charge should be this question, “Are you saying that nonwhite Americans are incapable of going to the DMV and getting a voter ID card?” Point out that on May 7th, 2025 every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license to fly within the U.S. and the Democrats claim it is racist to require an ID that will protect us from abusing voting, a sacred foundational element of this nation.
An estimated 90 million eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 election; 80 million did not vote in 2020. RNC should press Speaker McCarthy right now to pass legislation calling for new election dates in 2024. Polls should be open on Saturday, November 2nd, Sunday, November 3rd and Monday, November 4th will be an election holiday. The only way to vote will be in person on 2-4 November or by absentee ballot.
OPERATIONS PLAN CAMPAIGN ‘24
With the organization energized, it’s time to build and execute an operations plan: Every good op plan works its way through three distinct pieces:
· First, Chart a course,
· Secondly, declare expectations, and
· Finally, create conditions for success.
In simplest terms, an op plan is about answering who, what, when, where, why, and how.
CHARTING A COURSE, vision and strategy.
VISION: All great plans begin at the end; that is, with a vision of the end state. Vision answers the question of where we are taking the organization. A leader is someone who is taking the organization elsewhere. There doesn’t have to be a lot of detail in the vision statement; just enough to feel it and see it.
The vision for Operations Plan Campaign ’24 is a slam-dunk Republican victory in the 2024 election across the country and thereby change the direction of America.
STRATEGY: How are we, in general terms, going to go about achieving the end state? Strategy is a game plan. Strategy is the alignment of assets to their greatest advantage. There are three rules for strategy;
One, have one,
Two, keep it simple (explain your strategy in a few words), and
Three, if the strategy is working, do not abandon it.
Strategic planning begins with a detailed analysis of external and internal factors that lead to a game plan.
The strategy for Campaign ’24 is for the RNC to become the center of gravity for planning with dynamic information, data, and guidance flowing to every Republican candidate, local, state, and national. Get out front, dominate the political narrative, and put the Democrats on the defensive. Get ahead and stay ahead.
The beginning of communications throughout the continuum of leadership with mission, intent, and boss’ guidance.
What it is we all are going to do; it’s the launch point.
The RNC’s mission for Campaign ’24 is to tailor the entire organization to focus on the 2024 election and proactively provide guidance on Republican policy issues, programs, changes to Biden administration policy and to generally change the destructive path America is on today.
INTENT: Answers who, when, where, and why. The most powerful tool available to a leader, vision binds the organization together for a common cause. Without intent, the organization will lack direction, flounder, and probably fail.
It is my intent (the leader, Ms. McDaniel owns intent) for the RNC to make it possible for Republicans to win big in 2024 and thereby change the direction of our nation.
This organization will necessarily change its focus to support, on a daily basis, every Republican 2024 candidate in America, work faster and more efficiently, interact continuously with counterparts at the state level, and produce products that are irrefutably factual in building cases for the Republicans and against the Democrats.
We are doing this because 70-80% of Americans believe the nation is off-track and headed for a massive train wreck with few survivors.
I intend to use two paths to success.
First is the totality of RNC internal change; forget about the old RNC. Reinvent your job description. Understand the Campaign ’24 end-state and focus on the new mission. You are the Republican Party’s staff and brain trust for Campaign ’24. Support down to the states to the points of execution.
Secondly, getting the Governors and state Republican Chairpersons to sign on to and support Operations Plan Campaign ’24.
Bound the problem, prioritize, define operational considerations, set a timetable, and fix responsibility.
Every new idea for the Republican Party is in play. Nothing, as long as it is factual, is off-limits concerning the Democrat’s tax-spend-power-control agenda.
Your work day; make everything you do more achievable for Campaign ’24. There are no second priorities.
Redefine how you work; agility, synergism, create force multipliers, always have an After Action Review, there are no bad new ideas. Age-old saying, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you are probably correct.” Get on board or get out of the way.
CREATE CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS:
Centers of Gravity: A place, person, thing, belief, circumstance, or condition that is central to success for you and/or the competition. Before every phase of the operation, confer with the brain trust, senior council, and red team to determine a very short list of issues that fall into the center of gravity category and monitor the status every day. Potential show shoppers (centers of gravity) must be identified early and then contingencies developed to deal with them. This is a dynamic, never-ending process of identify/take action, identify/take action, phase by phase throughout the campaign. Centers of gravity are other force multipliers.
Assumptions: You will never have all the facts. Consider carefully the assumptions you make, write them down, and track them. Eventually, every assumption must be proven to be valid or false. Either way, there may be significant ramifications. If you base the whole strategy on an assumption, be prepared for a hard fall if you let the campaign play out too long and get too close to the assumption before you determine its validity. Moving a campaign forward based on an invalid assumption can be a death knell.
Critical Information Requirements: A short list of potentially time-sensitive issues the boss wants everyone in the organization to watch for. If someone sees it, feels it, or smells it, get the information directly to the RNC Chairperson. Update the list frequently. Head off small problems before they become big problems. Another force multiplier.
Control the Battlespace: Every problem has a defined battlespace (operating environment) and every battlespace is configured such that you either have the advantage or are in a disadvantaged position. For example, are all of the Republican Governors and the state Republican Chairpersons on board? Is the congressional leadership tuned in and responsive? Be proactive and control the battlespace thereby creating another force multiplier.
Leader Backbriefs: For the most part meetings are a colossal waste of time; but also, leaders have to remain informed on a wide range of issues. Create a culture of brief, frequent, stand-up subordinate leader backbriefs. Yes, another force multiplier.
Dynamic Planning by Phase: Some organizations believe you can just build a massive to-do list of several hundred items and say, “Go”. Well-intentioned subordinates will be moving in multiple directions, with no prioritization, too many assumptions, and soon chaos, and finally, the boss says, “Well we tried and it just can’t be done.”
Why phase an op plan? There are two good reasons.
First, let’s say we are building a 2-year 4-phased plan and we have established a reasonable end-state in general terms that is easy to understand (similar to Campaign ’24). At this point how much detail do we know about phase 4? Not much. How about phase 1? In phase one, it is clear that we need to organize for action and build an operations plan. There are already many details associated with accomplishing those two things.
The second reason why we need to phase an operation is because of the existence of a situation called DKDK; that is, at this early date we Don’t Know what we Don’t Know. How can we plan in detail for something that may or may not ever occur? The point is, every phase is new and different. How so? New facts, new assumptions, new challenges, changing levels of expertise, new centers of gravity, new situational awareness requirements, new battlespace shaping actions required, new time-sensitive information requirements, different horizontal integration requirements, changing priorities, etc. Have you heard people say, “A plan is never done?” They are correct because you will be in a constant state of discovery.
Task Lists: For every phase, leaders at all levels will produce a critical task list to insure they stay on schedule to be able to move on to the next phase. For the RNC Chair, in phase one, that list will include meeting at an off-site with all the Republican Governors, the Speaker of the House, and the Minority Leader in the Senate where she will brief Operation Plan Campaign ’24 in great detail and seek their approval and participation.
Also, during the off-site meeting the RNC Chair will lead the discussion of the first cut of the 2024 campaign platform to include but not limited to:
ü Achieve energy independence again
ü Stop the movement towards near-total government control
ü Clean up weaponized government bureaucracies
ü Tax reform
ü Election reform
ü Cut needless pending
ü No more multi-thousand-page bills in Congress
ü Cut needless spending by outlawing earmarks on legislation
ü Decentralize and reform education
ü Strengthen the military and reverse the DEI movement
ü Lock up criminals and reform the system that keeps them on the street
ü Secure our borders
ü Drastically reduce the size and power of out-of-control federal bureaucracies
ü Term limits
ü Campaign finance reform
ü New infrastructure spending to include water reserves, nuclear power, and a more secure Power Grid system.
Explain to the off-site attendees that for every platform issue the RNC will be building a library of hundreds of irrefutable Fact Sheets on the platform. Issues that will be available to every Republican candidate, local, state, and national. For example, the Washington D.C. city council recently passed a new law that would allow an estimated 50,000 noncitizens, including illegal immigrants and diplomats from foreign countries, the right to vote in local elections. The D.C. mayor vetoed the law and the city council overrode the veto. The D.C. law was voted down by a House of Representatives vote of 260-162; a Senate vote is pending. The point of this type of fact sheet would be to point out that 162 Democrats in the House believe nonresidents should have the right to vote. This is the type of information Republican candidates need to be armed with because it will resonate with their voters.
The RNC library will, in its totality, focus on two things.
One is what the Republican Party is planning to do for all Americans, and the
second is to lay out in great detail what the Democrats have done and will continue to do to all Americans.
Going forward toward the 2024 election, there are two options;
one, let things play out and react to whatever happens, or
two, become proactive and shape the environment thereby enabling a best-case scenario to emerge.
The longer we wait to do something positive about the 2024 Republican campaign, the less likely it is that we will do anything.
No leader, no plan, and no success in 2024.
BOTTOM LINE: The RNC needs to redefine its purpose and organize to fulfill it.
Marvin L. Covault, Lt Gen US Army, retired, is the author of VISION TO EXECUTION, a book for leaders, and a new book May 2022, FIX THE SYSTEMS, TRANSFORM AMERICA as well as the author of a blog WeThePeopleSpeaking.com.
If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.
©2022 Rip McIntosh Enterprises. All rights reserved.